The Bean Museum at BYU has been closed for the last year for renovations, but in June 2014 it reopened. We went down to check out the new look of the museum. First of all, the entrance to the museum has moved. It is now on the east side of the museum and the outside has windows with displays to view as you walk toward the entrance from the parking lot which is on the north side of the building.
As you enter, there is a welcome desk where you will need to pick up your parking permit. There is also a large display with African animals to view, and a larger gift shop to shop in. On the bottom floor, there are a few different areas to check out. There is a room filled with birds much like the old bird display, as well as the insect display that was in the old museum. The insects section has some new exhibits that my boys were fascinated with, such as how a mosquitoes mouth works. Also, on the bottom floor, you can see the ocean animals and the rest of the African animals. Shasta is still a part of the museum, so make sure to find her, too!
There are two new additions to the bottom section of the museum. There is a large room which houses Boyd K. Packer’s artwork and other items from his personal life. The other addition is a small play area for the children with a cave to crawl in and slide. This was a very popular place to play.
Once you head upstairs, you will see lots of animals posed in more active situations. In the old museum, most of the animals were just lined up, but now they have them interacting and looking more alive if that is possible with dead animals.
The new museum is much more open and light. The new design is beautiful and we enjoyed being in the new Bean Museum.
One more special treat is we requested a live animal show since we came with our neighborhood friends. This was definitely the best part of our visit. The presenter was fun and we were able to see and touch a snake, gecko, and tortoise. The children enjoyed this show the best. They host their animal shows in private classrooms now which we felt made a nice, quiet atmosphere for learning from our presenter as well as appreciating the animals. If you would like to request a live animal show for your school or neighborhood, read the requirements here.
The Bean Museum is located on BYU Campus and has FREE admission. To find the Bean Museum, turn on the road just south of the Marriot Center (Phillips Lane). Follow it to the end and head left on 1550 N. You will pass the Bean Museum on your left, then turn into the parking lot adjacent to the museum. Park here, but make sure to get a parking permit to hang in your window for the duration of your visit. You don’t want to deal with the BYU parking police.
The BYU Creamery is right around the corner from the Bean Museum–you can get some great ice cream after your visit. Or if you want to see some animals that are alive, drive to the other side of campus and check out the BYU Botany Pond.